This Friday, 12 October, we will be celebrating the annual feast day
of the uncorrupt relics of our beloved patron, St. John of San
Francisco, by participating in the Divine Liturgy, followed by a
picnic at Mountain Lake Park.
Please make sure that your child arrives to the cathedral no later
than 8:00 AM for this joyous event. Remember that church attendance
is considered to be the most essential - indeed, the most life-giving
and salvific - part of the education that your child is receiving at
St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy. Attendance at the Divine
Liturgy, or any other feast day which the Church deems beneficial to
our souls, is a non-negotiable component of St. John's curriculum. An
Orthodox student should learn nothing until he or she learns to
appreciate the height, width and depth of God's love for man which is
encapsulated in the Divine Liturgy. One of the most important aspects
of learning to be a good Orthodox Christian is learning to respect the
Lord's invitation to His liturgical banquet table. We want to instill
the idea in our children's minds that just as they would honor the
invitation to dinner of an important person in society, so all the
more must they dutifully and punctually heed God's summons to
partake of His Most Divine Body and Blood.
In light of the enormous importance to your child's soul and its
upbringing that is conveyed by attendance at Church services, it has
become necessary to encourage prompt arrival to all services required
by St. John's Academy curriculum by assigning students who arrive more
than 10 minutes late to a church service an extra-curricular research
project on the topic of the history, music, theology and/or content of
the Divine Liturgy. Students who arrive late to any obligatory
services will now be asked to write papers that are designed to inform
them mentally about everything they missed noetically by arriving
tardy to the Church's celebration of God's ineffable love. Moreover,
students who are absent from Sunday services or other required church
services will also be asked to write papers or do special assignments
on similar topics. The size and scope of these assignments will
depend on how much of the Liturgy or other service was actually
missed. This extracurricular work will be monitored and collected by
the student's religion teacher, and if the work is not done (or done
negligently) it will adversely affect the student's grade in religion.
By the way, please allow me to happily remind you that the October
feast day in honor of patron's relics is meant to be a family event.
Ideally, parents and children would all come to church together on St.
John's Day (October 12th), and after celebrating liturgy, everyone -
school staff, parents and teachers - should then gather together to
enjoy the picnic in the park. Unfortunately, this tradition has been
fading in recent years, but this year I sincerely hope that all of our
parents, grandparents, godparents and relatives understand that
October 12th is a day when school and family enjoy the feast together
in the goodly graces of true Christian fellowship, and that they will
do everything they can to attend the divine services and picnic
Please make sure that your child comes to school on Friday in uniform,
as well as with a change of play clothes (or the PE uniform) to wear
at the park. Also, feel free to bring along any lenten snacks or
treats (it is a Friday) to share with others at the picnic, which will
take place at Mountain Lake Park, located on the corner of California
and Funston. Our group will occupy the picnic tables near the tennis
courts at the end of 9th Avenue. We should plan to arrive at the park
around between 10:30 and 11 AM, and we will stay until about 2 PM.
All St. John's students and pupils are required to attend the picnic.
They will be transported to and from the park, and all students and
pupils will be released from school at 2:30 PM.
Do not fail to write to me at email@example.com, or
call the school office at 415-221-3484, if you have any questions or
In great anticipation of the happy day,